I am very sad to write my last goodbye to a man who I can say is my inspiration. Pedro was a great husband to a very loving wife, a very good father, a very loving grandfather, and a great friend.
I had known him for about 16 years, when my mom started working with his wife, Angie. During the following years, I would spend most Friday or Saturday nights with my friend Susana, having non sense conversations as my mother and her parents spent hours talking to Pedro and his wife in their apartment. We didn’t know what they talked about, we just knew they were having the time of their lives and we created a friendship that lasts to this day.
From day one, he was very nice, friendly, easy to talk to, funny, and always fit right in with any group of people. One year, we invited them over to celebrate my mom’s birthday with our family and he made such an impression on my grandparents that they constantly asked about him and how he was doing. Carlos, Susana’s father always told a story that is still my favorite Pedro story and I can’t help but smile when I think about it. He told us about the time he was walking with pedro to the movies. My mom, Carlo’s wife Susie and Angie wen’t by car. Carlos was walking slow because he didn’t want to leave Pedro behind. To mess with him, Pedro slowly started speeding up his wheelchair, and before Carlos knew it, he could barely breathe from trying to catch up to Pedro. It’s a lot funnier when Carlos tells the story, and it was great seeing Pedro just laughing about it. That was one of the greatest things about Pedro, no matter how many things life threw at him, he always came out of them and he never wanted anyone to feel sorry for him.
He was an impressive man but it was not until recent years that he really became my inspiration. I had not seen him after my accident or for a few years before that, I think, but as we pulled up to a restaurant one day, there they were parking their car, Pedro and his wife. I immediately smiled, went over to say hello, kiss and hug him, I was very happy to see him.. He was also very happy to see me and to see me doing well, he had heard all about my accident.When my mom joined us, she quickly told them I had told her a few times I wanted to see Pedro. After all the hellos we went in, had dinner with them and sat there talking for a long time.
He asked about my accident, we told him and he shared stories about his. He had also been in an accident while driving when he was young, because of this accident he was paraplegic. This was the first time he had talked to me about his accident, and told me the whole story. He really had an amazing story to tell but he wasn’t tragic about it. He went through some difficult stuff in his life but he did not let that ruin his or anyone else’s day. I had never heard his full story before but hearing it for the first time, directly from him, just left me without words. He told me he was impressed by everything my mom told them about my recovery, and that truly made me feel strong. Right there I got the chance to tell him that his story was incredible and I truly admire him, which I had not had the bravery or chance to tell him, but I would have always regretted if I didn’t tell him. That was the last time I saw him, but this is the night I will always remember him by.
The last time I saw him, he was the same friendly, funny, interesting, nice, and loving guy I met 16 years ago. We’re going to miss you.
Pedro, rest in peace.